How 6 Penny Prayers Are Changing My Life
Our Freedom Church family just finished something called 7:14. It’s 7 days of fasting and 14 days of prayer. It was really powerful!
Back in the day, I would’ve dreaded something like this, but now I have grown to love the freshness, focus, and simplicity that prayer & fasting brings. It’s not easy but the impact is worth it!
7:14 got me thinking about my prayer life and personal disciplines.
I’ve never met a Christian who didn’t think they should spend more time in prayer and reflection. But instead of beat myself up in this area, I chose to think about what is working in my prayer life; what’s bearing fruit and enjoyable to me in this season.
I grew up around a lot of Catholic folks.
My parents were both raised Catholic. We were Italian & Irish on one side and Portuguese on the other. My father-in-law was even a Roman Catholic Carmelite priest in his earlier years. (Thank God, he left the priesthood while finding new faith, or I would not be married to my amazing wife!)
I was always a bit confused by all the statues, icons, relics and traditions in the Catholic Church.
Of course, I was looking from the outside-in, since I was raised in a Spirit-filled Protestant home.
I always wondered about the memorized prayers and the Rosary beads.
I do not judge my Catholic friends in the least. I may not agree with all of their doctrine, especially related to works & the Gospel of salvation, but I am definitely gleaning something from them.
I'm beginning to understand a little more about the connection between practical symbols and spiritual connections.
In fact, I’ve starting to adopt my own kind of Pentecostal version of “prayer beads”.
Life passes by so quickly that without certain things to trigger my memory I may forget to pray for things and especially people I love so much.
Something I have been practicing for years, but especially over the past several months is what I call my “6 Penny Prayers”.
I keep six pennies in my right-hand pocket wherever I go.
These six pennies each represent mean something unique and meaningful to me. They remind me to pray for things that really matter to me.
Depending on which one I’m holding determines who or what I am going to take a moment to pray for. Sometimes this will last only a moment, sometimes I’ll take several minutes with each penny.
I use them at all different times:
· When I finish my morning workout and have a few moments before entering the house for breakfast.
· When I take my lunch break at work.
· When I am stuck in traffic.
· When I am in a doctor’s waiting room and not reading a book.
· When I am waiting for someone else and I’m left with unoccupied time.
I use the date on the pennies to serve as cues that trigger my prayer life.
1979: This is the year my wife was born. She is the greatest gift in my life. She is beautiful beyond words, loves Jesus, creative, fiercely loyal, courageous and makes our home a true haven. I hold this penny tight and ask God to wrap Himself around her throughout the day.
1981: This is the year I was born. I take a moment and pray dangerous prayers over my own life and destiny. I remind myself who I am and Whose I am. I pray that I will live a brilliant life that glorifies God and inspires people.
1994: This is the year I had a profound and life-altering encounter with Jesus. My family was visiting Toronto, Canada for some special meetings. People from over 46 nations were there the night I was deeply and irreversibly touched. That was the first night I ever lifted my hands in worship. I had tears streaming down my face and didn’t care who saw. It was in that moment that I could not deny my calling. This little penny serves as a huge “memory stone”. When I hold this penny, I am reminded that I continually live under the smile of heaven and that I should never settle for anything less than "more" of Him.
2000: This is the year Anna and I were married. I pray for our marriage to be ever-increasing in its love, joy, patience, wisdom and intimacy. I know that our marriage covenant sets the pace for the culture in our home. The best way to love my children is to love my wife. When I hold this penny, I thank God for the greatest gift He’s ever given me besides His Son.
2005: This is the year our firstborn son, Judah, was born. It was easily one of the greatest days of my life. I couldn’t keep my excitement to myself! The doctor later told Anna and I that I was the loudest dad he’d ever heard in 25 years of delivering babies! When I hold this little penny I pray, BIG, bold prayers over Judah’s life. I also remind myself that the years I have with him living in our home are quickly passing by. Someday I will have pennies in my pocket that remind me to pray for his children, my future grandchildren.
2007: This is the year our son Jesse was born. When Jesse came onto the scene, he changed our whole family. His passion for life lightens up any room. I hold this penny and pray for him something that I have spoken over he and his brother most evenings of their life…”Jesse, you are a world-changer, history-maker and a man of God!”
The amazing thing is that our prayers have an eternal shelf life! Even after I am gone from this life, God will be honoring and answering my prayers.
There are a lot of other things I pray for as the Holy Spirit prompts me, but these 6 are staples in my life.
When I lose one of my pennies, Judah & Jesse get excited because they know that I’ll pay $1 for every penny they find that has the date I’m looking forJ
In my last blog, we looked at the Power of A Routine. This is one of my routines that is so simple and yet so spiritually meaningful to me.
Practical things you do daily, have the power to spiritually impact you for the rest of your life!
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What kind of routines do you have to keep your spiritual life fresh?
What kinds of routines or habits are you thinking about developing in this season of your life?